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Songwriter Lincoln Wayne “Chips” Moman Dies

Lincoln Wayne “Chips” Moman, who produced Elvis Presley and wrote hits for Waylon Jennings, Aretha Franklin and B.J. Thomas, died Monday at 79 in LaGrange, Ga.  Moman penned “In The Ghetto,” “Suspicious Minds” and “Kentucky Rain” for Presley. He co-wrote Jennings’ “Luckenbach, Texas,” B.J. Thomas’ “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” and Aretha Franklin’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man.”

Moman was born in LaGrange, Ga. on June 12, 1937 and moved to Memphis as a teenager. He toured with Johnny Burnette and Gene Vincent before putting down stakes in Los Angeles. While there, he did session work at guitar and also worked with Satellite Records (later Stax) in Memphis, being at the helm of the label’s first hit single, Carla Thomas’s “Gee Whiz” in 1960. He was considered the right hand man of label founder Jim Stewart, while also doing in-house production and writing songs.  Moman left Stax over a money dispute and formed his own recording studio, American Sound Studio. Among the acts he recorded were The Box Tops, Bobby Womack, Merrilee Rush (“Angel of the Morning”), Joe Tex, Wilson Pickett and Petula Clark. Between 1968 and 1970, Moman produced more than 75 charting pop singles. He assumed a studio band consisting of Reggie Young on guitars, Bobby Wood and Bobby Emmons on keyboards, Tommy Cogbill and Mike Leech on bass and Gene Chrisman on drums.

Moman produced Elvis’ “From Elvis in Memphis” in 1969, which contained the aforementioned hits. Moman co-wrote “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” with Dan Penn and “The Dark End of the Street,” a career song for soul singer James Carr.

Moman eventually landed in Nashville where he produced and co-wrote Thomas’ hit “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.” He produced Willie Nelson, Gary Stewart, Tammy Wynette and Ronnie Milsap along with “The Highwaymen,” the first studio disc by Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Jennings and Nelson along with their second album. Other production credits included Merle Haggard’s “Pancho and Lefty” and the Class of ’55 in 1985, a disc featuring Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins.

Moman moved back to Georgia in 1994.

Listen below to one of the hits Moman wrote, sung by BJ Thomas – “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song”

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